Among the hotly debated topics in Brussels these days, digital innovation is no doubt high on the agenda. Cybersecurity and privacy are natural concerns in light of the upcoming European elections but several other issues are also present, particularly in the realm of copyright rules and efforts to counter the spread of “fake news”.
The European Parliament’s adoption last September of a position on digital copyright rulesis an example of the increased willingness of European institutions to use regulations to tackle potential risks in the digital domain. In this way, the EU has not only made important strides in the realm of digital copyright regulations, it has also re-confirmed its role as a global norms setter.
Nevertheless, a misconception seems to pervade a number of these well-intentioned EU efforts. While Margrethe Vestager, the European Commissioner for Competition, initiated a series of investigations against the market dominance of big tech oligopolies, such as the GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon), some of these regulations may inadvertently end up reinforcing these technological giants.